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All Too Similar

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 7:35 AM PT
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Ducks Off the Ice by Adam Brady
All Too Similar

The details of Thursday night vs. the Kings and last night vs. the Red Wings were eerily similar -- and that's not a good thing.

Both were bitter rivalry games in which the Ducks tied to try it on a late 6-on-4, only to be stomach-punched by a clinching empty net goal. It happened in that 5-3 defeat to the Kings and history repeated itself last night in a 4-2 loss to the Red Wings.

The Ducks were put in an early hole when they gave up early-in-period goals to some familiar faces. It was Henrik Zetterberg 1:26 into the first and Johan Franzen just 14 seconds into the second. A few minutes after Franzen's tally, Brad Stuart piled on with a goal from the right circle to make it 3-0, leading Ryan Getzlaf to say, "I thought we came out of the gates okay. We still dug a hole. There is no doubt about that. The score doesn’t lie. At some point during the game, we let ourselves get down and get behind."

But to the Ducks' credit, they didn't hang their heads, getting one back on an odd-man rush one-timer from Saku Koivu and then a power play goal by Teemu Selanne set up by a nifty backhand pass through the crease by Corey Perry.

That drew Anaheim within a goal, which is where it stood when they were handed two power play opportunities late in the game. They didn't get the goal they needed off Justin Abdelkater's boarding call with 5:46 left, but they had another chance when Jonathan Ericsson was whistled for hooking with 2:34 on the clock.

As was the case when they desperately tried to tied the score against the Kings, Randy Carlyle pulled his goalie (Dan Ellis Thursday; Jonas Hiller last night) to create a 6-on-4. And for the second straight game, a giveaway on that power play did the Ducks in. The Ducks let the puck slip away into the slot, where Stuart picked it up and artfully banked it off the wall and into the middle of the abandoned net from 120 feet away. (Watching that puck slowly roll along the ice toward that net with no one in front of it was a little like watching a car crash transpire with no way of stopping it. Too dramatic? I don't think so.)

The 4-2 final on the scoreboard didn't reflect how close the Ducks came to tying that game. It didn't reflect the close calls, like Bobby Ryan's rebound try 13 minutes into the second, where Jimmy Howard dove across the crease to knock the puck away with his glove, Ryan raising his arms in the air thinking he'd gotten his long-awaited goal. Replays showed the puck got ever-so-close to crossing the stripe in the air, but not definitively enough to reverse the call on the ice. There was another near-miss with less than a minute to go in the second, when an apparent  Devante Smith-Pelly goal was deflected away by the handle (the handle) of Howard's stick. Seconds later, Ryan roofed in a loose puck, only to have the whistle blow as soon as he touched it because of a Smith-Pelly cross checking penalty.

When you're winning, those are the kinds of things that go your way. When you're struggling, they all too often go against you. And that's what the Ducks are dealing with right now.

"It’s tough. It’s a new experience for us here," said Getzlaf of the Ducks' continued struggles. "We have to find a way to dig ourselves out of this thing."

They were given a day off today, and their next chance comes on the road, Wednesday night in Phoenix.

"We are in a situation where we have to play ourselves out of it and that includes me," Getzlaf continued. "I just have to keep playing and we have to lead by example. Our group here, who I have been with for a little while, we have a great core of leaders and we just have to keep pushing."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60

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